Author Topic: So. Many. Parts.  (Read 6549 times)

Offline Cyborg

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2013, 09:15:25 PM »
I use 1024x768.

I would probably complain louder if this was AI war.
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Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2013, 10:18:18 PM »
Advice

While appreciated, it's not really tips on how to play that I need. I am capable of figuring out how to optimize my crew of exos, the problem is that I don't find it enjoyable. It's like I'm saying that I don't enjoy putting my face on the belt sander, and you're suggesting techniques for holding my chin properly. Unfortunately, it's no fun either way!

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2013, 01:16:49 AM »
One thing the new UI seems to be missing is the total +% to various stats.
The old UI doesn't show that either :)  In both cases, it shows the actual final numbers for the stats, and thus the +% secondary stats (the ones that only exist to boost other stats) do not need to be shown.

That said, yea, it's possible they could be shown on the section headers.  Though there's no readily apparent place to show the +%-to-all-weapon-attack one.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2013, 01:19:27 AM »
I use 1024x768.

I would probably complain louder if this was AI war.
Yea, in AIW one may need to use 1024-wide just to be able to read the stuff.  I think in Bionic the text size is generally larger, no?  Does it get illegible at 1280-wide, or is that size an issue for other reasons?
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Offline nas1m

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2013, 04:20:26 AM »
Yea, I'm with you on the "stare at equipment screen, sigh, just stop for now" reaction.  And I wrote the thing.

Cross-posting from the steam forum:
Quote
Just wanted to give you folks an update on the customization screen stuff.


My approach is basically:

- Until we iron out any bugs or whatever in the new layout, the old layout will remain the default. To use/test the new one you'll need to set a toggle in the Extras tab of the Settings window.

- The new layout has a minimum resolution of 1280x768. From the hardware survey it looks like 98+% of steam users have at least 768 high, and something like 94+% have at least 1280 wide. So I don't think we're squeezing out very many folks with that. And the old layout is still there for those on smaller screens. And if the new layout really does work out then the small-screen layout can have some of the changes made to it too. In theory everything might even fit, but it would be REALLY cramped :)


Anyway, here's a screenshot of the new layout in-game looking at the highest-density case I had laying around.


I haven't done the drag-and-drop part yet, but the inclusion of the Inventory and getting all the stats showing at once is basically there.


Feedback would be much appreciated. Would this help?

That's not all that's being done, but it's a significant chunk, so wanted to hear what y'all thought.


Edit: whoops, it'd help if I didn't rely on the copy-and-paste to include the tagged link:

http://arcengames.com/dl/Bionic_RevisedCustomizationScreenFor1280x768.jpg
Definitely looks much better to me :D. Gets rid of the infamous screen switching of death, for sure!

One thing I would strongly advocate to be added if at all possible in terms of vertical screen estate is to add a secondary filter (or possibly a tertiary one if enough room is available).

The fact that there are so few parts that only give a single or two benefits (which is really cool by itself as it creates interesting tradeoffs during customization), in my games, leads to the fact that the filter mechanism is by far not as helpful as it could be as I have to take at least two, sometimes three stats into account to decide whether a given new part is a veritable replacement for a currently equipped part.

So the main gripe with customization that I have (aside from the screen switching issue, which you seem to have adressed just fine) is the the fact that it is just *too hard* too sift through the big number of parts that quickly accumulate in your inventory to find parts that are actually eligible to provide an improvement for a specific slot of a given exo.  This also includes identifying parts which are unlikely to provide any improvement at all and may therefore be "safely" sold (something which is easy as heck in games like torchlight etc. but insanely hard in Bionic due top the huge number of stats affected by each item).

Secondary (and possibly tertiary) would be able to remedy this issue I think.
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 04:22:57 AM by nas1m »
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Offline sradas

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2013, 09:54:34 AM »
My problem with the loot currently is that is all so....boring.  A lot like The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot aka "The Expensive Quest for Boring Loot"s problem.

Greens, blues, purples, oranges.  I get all kinds of endless loot on missions but its all the same.  Stat stat stat.  I would LOVE there to be "Cool" and "Unique" loot that does more than just change numbers.  Theres a few things like get mines or get turrets but thats about it.  Different ammo types for LMG / Minigun.  Fire modes for lasers, maybe a mod that gives it burst mode, -% chance to hit but lets it shoot twice, AP bullets, Smoke grenades for grenade launcher, just DIFFERENT things.

I beat the game on normal ironman surprisingly easy, I had to fight 2 enemies in the final battle because I trashed them so easily with assassinations and lions dens,and now its feeling like almost a chore to play through a second time on ironman hard because I feel like after one win, I've seen it all now that I have epics of the 2 exos I didn't take the first time.  Same weapons every time, same number of slots, same enemies, same loot since all of it just changes numbers.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 09:59:44 AM by sradas »

Offline chemical_art

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2013, 12:19:19 PM »
My problem with the loot currently is that is all so....boring.  A lot like The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot aka "The Expensive Quest for Boring Loot"s problem.

Greens, blues, purples, oranges.  I get all kinds of endless loot on missions but its all the same.  Stat stat stat.  I would LOVE there to be "Cool" and "Unique" loot that does more than just change numbers.  Theres a few things like get mines or get turrets but thats about it.  Different ammo types for LMG / Minigun.  Fire modes for lasers, maybe a mod that gives it burst mode, -% chance to hit but lets it shoot twice, AP bullets, Smoke grenades for grenade launcher, just DIFFERENT things.

I beat the game on normal ironman surprisingly easy, I had to fight 2 enemies in the final battle because I trashed them so easily with assassinations and lions dens,and now its feeling like almost a chore to play through a second time on ironman hard because I feel like after one win, I've seen it all now that I have epics of the 2 exos I didn't take the first time.  Same weapons every time, same number of slots, same enemies, same loot since all of it just changes numbers.

This was a part of what I think. I don't have that "gotta get one more chest" mentality that I find essential for games which feature loot prominently. "Unique" loot is precisely because it is hand-craft to cause an interest set of tactics. I understand why BD didn't pursue this, but cookie-cutter loot does make it feel boring quickly.


Part of what makes filtering loot more essential then other games is that in general less stats to juggle within a single exo. However, BD you have to manage the loot of 4 characters, not one, so time spent trying to mentally sort loot increases exponentially.
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Offline Necro_Man_Ser

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2013, 03:30:07 PM »
My first post, so hay there :)

I can only agree that unique loot would spice up the game alot. Maybe some loot that even adds a special ability, like (cheesy but just an example) reveal the whole mission map or something, or your weapons are able to shoot through walls but have 1/4 range... something that is unachievable by usual loot or usual abilities of exos.

I agree that the new UI would make customization more of a nice thing again instead of criss-cross clicking between several windows. Still, I'd welcome something like a context menu that opens on left click on an item, where you can select an exo and a system (like shields/reactor) so you can compare that item with already installed ones. That would make customization REALLY comfortable. Also, you could let us switch on the customization screen between that new little inventory window you have added in the new UI and the shop for example.

Besides that, I seem to be the first one who likes that number-crunching part of your loot system. I've always been a numbers freak. Yeah, sometimes it gets annoying to weight AOE with damage, range etc., but in the end it's fun because you can taylor your weapons the way you want them to be. For example, I made a sniper of my assault exo by boosting the range + dam on his laser AND a siege exo by giving him incredible range and AOE for his plasma rifle. It's incredibly fun to see the effect of your customization in how you just tweaked an exo to something that very much suits your play style. Getting where you want to be is always tiring, especially if you're a perfectionist, but where would be all the fun without it ^^

Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2013, 08:19:31 PM »
I'm leery about any specialized unique loot, actually. While it can be fun, I think it would only exacerbate the existing problem, which is endless loot comparison. The game's already overloaded on weighing one thing against 30 other things and 5 potential slots it could fit in on 4 different exos. We don't need even one more factor to consider. And in general, unique items are tricky because their abilities don't fit into quantifiable numbers. I know what 10 more damage and 10 less shields means. But how does that stack up to an item that reveals the whole map, or de-aggros enemies, or lets you dig through a wall, or whatever other unique tricks you could think of? Getting one of those would lock you in to using that part forever, if you want to keep that special magic thing. Or trading it out for an actual numeric stat boost, against which it's almost impossible to compare.

I'd say if some sort of super special unique things were added, it would need to be another (ack!) slot that would hold that item and only that item. One slot, one item, and it doesn't have any stat effects, only special unique abilities. Then you're only ever comparing intangibles vs. intangibles instead of vs. actual damage/shield/whatever numbers.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2013, 10:14:30 PM »
I use 1024x768.

I would probably complain louder if this was AI war.
Yea, in AIW one may need to use 1024-wide just to be able to read the stuff.  I think in Bionic the text size is generally larger, no?  Does it get illegible at 1280-wide, or is that size an issue for other reasons?

Mouse dpi and readability of not just this application, but others running in the background. If I'm forced to change mode all the time, it gets annoying really quick with the delay and desktop rearranging that goes on in the background.
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Offline Taikei no Yuurei

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2013, 10:24:34 PM »
Advice

While appreciated, it's not really tips on how to play that I need. I am capable of figuring out how to optimize my crew of exos, the problem is that I don't find it enjoyable. It's like I'm saying that I don't enjoy putting my face on the belt sander, and you're suggesting techniques for holding my chin properly. Unfortunately, it's no fun either way!
You're right.  I and many others got sidetracked in our advice.  The way I go through loot is fairly quick and easy I think, while not being overly inefficient for higher difficulty games.  After a mission I go strait to my inventory screen, then look at all the new items one at a time.  If any of them have a stat that looks like it'd be useful for a particular exo, I switch to them and compare it real quick (possibly changing it out) before going back to look at the rest of the loot.  The only time I look at any old loot is when I run into a power crisis.  The shop can be done in a similar way.  Don't worry about trying to memorize every piece of loot you have, though as you go through the game you're likely to have an idea of if a new item with stats that line up for one of your exos is actually likely to really compete for any other slots or not.

That combined with focusing on only a couple of stats for each of your exos makes gearing up between missions a breeze.  Most of my time is spent in missions.  Try it out if that isn't already how you do it, might make it more enjoyable.

Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2013, 10:57:58 PM »
I think a bit of my trouble may have been allowing myself to get a backlog of items built up. It makes the comparison process even more mind-numbing. I don't want to look at all the items, so I just do another mission, which only adds to the pile. It's like the late library book problem. I kept it one day late, and now I'm embarrassed to take it back, so I kept it another day, and now I'm fretting even more about it, so I kept it another day...

Offline Misery

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2013, 12:13:05 AM »
I would very definitely be against the idea of unique loot.   The lack of it is exactly WHY the item system in this game works whatsoever.  Unique loot is one of the things I most hate about Diablo-style games.  Why?   Because it becomes THE ONLY LOOT WORTH USING.  Players go after that sort, and ONLY that sort, and discard anything else, further exasperating problems like "stores are totally useless" that tend to pervade that genre.  Getting the player to actually THINK about loot choices and have to make real decisions is something this game does well.  Wheras whenever I play a Diablo-style game, it reminds me kinda of Final Fantasy games:  You dont really think too much about it, you simply grab whatever is the next level of "good" parts, and equip all of them, once you find out just what the list of "good parts" for your level is (which is usually very easy).  And then you find out what the next level of "good" parts specifically is from there, and go farm the hell outta things (which is phenomenally boring) until you get them.  And so on and so on.


It ALSO means that the vast majority of loot that you get from ANYWHERE will be utterly worthless, because most of the time, it wont be the unique stuff you're after.  In THIS game, when I get a purple or blue item, I think "hey, that's good, I got a purple/blue from that! It might be useful!".  And then there's actual decision-making to be done, on wether I use the part or not, which Exo I use it on, where I slot it, and which part is replaced by it.  Wheras when unique items exist.... you get the concept of "specific builds" thrown in too.  Where you just follow a list of specific, exact things, to get the most power, none of it unique at all compared to what other players have done.  The "unique" loot actually removes the "unique" aspect of builds that the current game has.  Very little, if any, thinking is involved here.  This idea is seen in damn near every RPG that ever existed in the history of ever, and it's just as bloody boring in all of them. 

And having to make actual decisions, often difficult ones, is one of the things that Arcen's games have always done best.


I think a bit of my trouble may have been allowing myself to get a backlog of items built up. It makes the comparison process even more mind-numbing. I don't want to look at all the items, so I just do another mission, which only adds to the pile. It's like the late library book problem. I kept it one day late, and now I'm embarrassed to take it back, so I kept it another day, and now I'm fretting even more about it, so I kept it another day...


Yep, this.  I suspect that those who are getting the "it takes forever" feeling from it are often doing exactly this thing.  I always look at the loot/store and do my equipping after every mission, and it seriously doesnt take long at all, so it never reaches the point of feeling like it takes too long and making me not want to do it.  And you get faster at it as you learn the game more.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 12:17:42 AM by Misery »

Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2013, 01:20:17 AM »
Yep, this.  I suspect that those who are getting the "it takes forever" feeling from it are often doing exactly this thing.  I always look at the loot/store and do my equipping after every mission, and it seriously doesnt take long at all, so it never reaches the point of feeling like it takes too long and making me not want to do it.  And you get faster at it as you learn the game more.

Well, to be fair, I don't think I'm too far out of the norm on that feeling. If the fix for a problem in the game is telling players to play a different way, then either the devs or the players are looking at it wrong. Now I'm open to the idea that I'm the point of failure here, but I kind of doubt it. I'm usually the type that is all about loot comparison. I'll whip out the spreadsheets and sit and autoattack the training dummy and then tweak things slightly and go at it again. I get plenty of enjoyment out of mindless kill > loot > kill bigger things > loot better things > repeat gameplay. I've got hundreds of hours across Torchlight 1/2, Titan Quest, Path of Exile, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, and plenty of other Diablo-likes. (Although not the original Diablos for various pointless reasons) And also plenty of other rogue-like loot driven games, or just RPGs with some loot and optimization component, or MMOs, or whatever. I say all that not to convince people the I am a gigantic nerd, because some things go without saying, but just to point out that loot overload is usually a pool into whose deep end I willingly dive.

That said, I don't think there's a single point of failure here that is bothering me. I think it's just too many little things taken all together. We've got just piles and piles of loot, we've got interchangeable loot (in that many pieces can go in different slots), we've got an overabundance of slots (3 or 4 per 'limb', across up to 9 'limbs'), we've got 4 different 'characters' to outfit all of which use the same gear, and we've got non-specific loot (while each piece will roughly have one main stat, sub-stats can be pretty much anything as far as I can tell).

The standard fixes for these things are already there in the long history of loot games. If you're going to have multiple characters to oufit, they all have different gear. The rogue wears leather and uses daggers, the mage wears cloth and has a staff, etc. etc. Obviously the fantasy tropes don't apply, but I'm just talking about the game mechanics. Somewhat arbitrary limits at least mean that when you ransack the dungeon you now only have to compare items specific to each class when you upgrade them. Likewise, the problem of too much interchangeable loot is narrowed down in standard games by things that naturally fit one slot. Gloves go on the hands, boots go on the feet. BD's equivalent is gloves that can go on hands, feet, ankles, elbows, and hang off your nose. And might possibly have different effects depending on where you put it! Again, the limitations help to make choices more clear.

The non-specific loot can be sharpened so that you always tend to get the same stats on the same things, avoiding the problem of upgrading your weapon but tanking your shields, so you have to change the shield but now you've killed your propulsion stats, so you upgrade that but now your hacking has dropped, etc. etc. Too many stats creeping in to too many areas makes for constant fiddling to get things right.

As far as just plain too many slots, that could be rectified by, (surprise) just having fewer slots. For balance purposes, the average 3 slots per thing could be reduced to 1, and items could just have 3x as much stat allocation as they do right now.

Now I'm not advocating for all of this together, that would be overkill. And the solution doesn't have to come from the standard loot-driven game checklist. Arcen is smart people. If the standard solutions don't look good, come up with some new ones! But I think it at least deserves a hard look. I usually get a kick out of being able to quickly sift the good from the bad loot and then comparing the good stuff together and picking an overall winner. That gives me that little nebulous feeling that we call 'fun' in my frazzled brain. BD is not flicking that switch, though, in the loot department. It feels more like filing my taxes. Endlessly poring over boring details while knowing that if I get something wrong an enraged robot will come blow me up. At least I think that's how the IRS works.

Offline Misery

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Re: So. Many. Parts.
« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2013, 02:52:01 AM »
If they were to make a change like that, my best suggestion would be to make a whole seperate mode out of it.   Wouldnt be a bad idea..... so long as it's not a part of the current mode.  I just cant do Diablo-style loot-fest games myself; if there's a better cure for insomnia, I've never found it.  Much too mindless.  I'll fire one up every now and then, but I usually end up doing about one level, or half of one level, before I lose interest and stop.

Even with the idea of different classes and different slots, or fewer or more slots, the way those games do it is still.... completely brainless.  Still just "get best build, equip best build".  Which of course leads to unending farming.  I dont think I've even once seen a game of that type that does not end up being this way.   Even MMOs tend to do this, and they usually have about a bazillion slots on a character, and loot is always VERY specific about which type it goes in.  But having a bazillion slots (or 20 classes, for that matter, or fewer slots, as some MMOs dont use that many) doesnt make the equipping any more complex or interesting;  there's usually zero choices to make. Simply take the new piece of equipment, compare it to the one in the needed slot, and if it's stronger, equp, if not, dont.  Honestly, if I play one of those, I always wonder why it cant just be levelling up, with simple skill tree selects instead of bothering with loot and equipment at all.

Not to mention.... I dont think BD was ever meant to fill the spot of a Diablo-esque game in the first place.  There's already about a squillion games on PC of that sort, since that subgenre has always been very popular.

But yeah, an extra mode with such changes for those that want it is not a bad move.  More modes for added gameplay diversity and appeal is never a bad thing and might serve to increase sales.